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ADAM FOREMAN/Lake Gaston Gazette-Observer

The condemed M&M building in Littleton is officially on the chopping block to be removed. The funds to demolish the building were awarded to the Upper Coastal Plain COG through an EPA Brownfield grant.

 

Littleton’s streetscape is in for a facelift with the planned removal of the condemned M&M building sandwiched between Plant and South Main streets. The building that once housed the M&M Grill will be removed and the space converted into a parking lot.

“I am ecstatic. We put in for this multiple times, and we’ve been wanting to get it done for years. For it to finally get pushed through and officially approved is incredible,” said Littlton Mayor Owen Scott. “Parking is our number one issue for events and stuff like that. That gravel lot where we had the Christmas tree is privately owned, so we can’t always rely on that to be available. Our big thing right now is trying to clear out space and expand parking as the town grows. As we add more business we have to find more parking.”

On May 6, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that four N.C. entities would receive brownfield grants totaling $1.4 million for brownfield cleanup and assessment. The Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, which includes Littleton and Roanoke Rapids, was awarded $300,000. 

“Grants awarded by EPA’s Brownfield Program provide communities and tribes across the country with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Under President Trump’s leadership, EPA has delivered approximately $287 million in Brownfield grants directly to communities and nonprofits for cleanup and redevelopment, job creation, and economic development through the award of over 948 grants.”

“This is great news for the region,” said Ron Townley, the planning and development services director of Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments. “The grant will also include site inventories, assessments, cleanup, and redevelopments of the West Point Stevens and the Jaeco sites in Roanoke Rapids.”

According to Townley, the M&M building will be taken down in order to assess and address the tanks stored underneath the building. Once the assessment is made, more than likely the tanks will be filled in place, before the parking area is installed.

Townley estimates that the project will be completed by the end of 2021.

The EPA defines a brownfield as, “a property for which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.”